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DARPA Taps Young Researchers for Innovation in DoD-Related Areas

Photo: variety.com
Photo: variety.com

To fuel game-changing ideas and generate excitement for the unique challenges Department of Defense encounters now and in the future, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has selected 33 researchers at 24 U.S. universities to participate in DARPA’s Young Faculty Award program.

The YFA program combines funding and mentoring, with industry and DoD networking early in awardee’s careers to aid them in framing their research in the context of DoD’s needs. The YFA program is one initiative DARPA has put together to create the next generation of academic scientists, engineers and mathematicians in key disciplines. The aim of the program is to encourage these researchers to focus a major part of their careers on defense and national security issues.

“DARPA focuses on some of the most critical science and technology areas in which research advancements could make an important difference to the warfighter,” said Dr. Viktoria Greanya, a DARPA program manager leader of this year’s YFA program. “We have an exciting group of awardees and look forward to harnessing their research efforts.”

The YFA applicants were required to be untenured faculty at U.S. institutions within five years of appointment to a tenure track position. Awardees receive grants of approximately $300,000 to develop and validate their research ideas over a two-year period. YFA recipients also participate in military base visits or exercises that give them first-hand perspectives of current issues faced by DoD warfighters.

FedBizOpps and at Grants.gov publish annual solicitations for the YFA programs in the fall. DARPA selects a new group of YFA researchers approximately once a year based on proposals submitted under an annual solicitation. Including this year’s class of 33 researchers, 129 faculty partook in the YFA program. Awardees will be recognized by DARPA in Arlington, Va., Sept. 21-22.

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